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Need help deciding

Old Jun 25th, 2008, 08:29 PM
  #1  
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Need help deciding

I am a newbie to travel and have been hit by the bug to go to the Caribbean. I have been drawn to St. Lucia due to the terrain and variety of activity options. I am not interested in sitting on a beach all week However, I am nervous that St. Lucia might be more than a newbie can handle. What do you think? Would it be better to go to St.John or St.Croix?

Also, does anyone know anything about the Almond Morgan resort? Do you think it is more economical to do an all-inclusive or stay at a villa and pay for food?

I also have a question about taxis. I thought we could get taxis the first day or two and then decide if we wanted to rent a car. Do the taxis have a set fare or can you barter prices? Also, what is a typical tip amount? I have never ever used a cab!

Can you book tours after you get there or will things be booked up and it's better to do it ahead of time?
I'd appreciate any input you can give!
jenibel is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2008, 05:29 AM
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St. Lucia is a great island, and I don't think you should be afraid of it. However, if you are new to the Caribbean, I would suggest NOT renting a car at all on St. Lucia and relying on taxis and tours (and also water taxis) to get around. The roads there leave something to be desired, and driving is on the left, British-style. The island has a lot to offer, especially if you want to get off the beach.

Almond Morgan Bay is a nice all-inclusive. Many of the hotels in St. Lucia are AIs, but there are some nice non-AIs (the Bay Gardens Beach Resort, for instance) that are quite recomendable and within easy walking or taxi distance of good restaurants.

If this is your first time anywhere, I'd recommend a resort over a villa since you'll have access to more help and won't have to worry about shopping and getting around (if you rent a villa, then a car is absolutely essential since most are not on the beach).

Taxis in St. Lucia usually use standard fares (if you stay at a hotel, ask what the fare should be). If you stay at Almond Morgan Bay, there is also a stop for the public jitney bus right outside the resort, and you can get into the shopping center or marina in Rodney Bay and back for about $1. Few tourists do this, but it's completely safe and also a fun experience.

Tours can be booked after you arrive; there's absolutely no need to do it before your trip. Make sure you get to see the Pitons.
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2008, 05:31 AM
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I should have added that I also really like St. Croix and St. John, and St. John in particular is a favorite island among posters on this Board. In St. Croix, you really have to rent a car, though driving is still on the left, British-style. In St. John, you don't absolutely need a car unless you are staying in a villa.
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2008, 08:32 AM
  #4  
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Thank you so much. That really helps!
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Old Jun 26th, 2008, 10:42 AM
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I'd like to add that theres a lot more than beach activities on St.Croix. Whereas, St.John is much more nature oriented.
St.Croix has a wonderful history aspect, and i think it's a lot more interesting architectural wise. Very Danish. You mentioned you didn't just want to sit on the beach, so...
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Old Jun 26th, 2008, 02:35 PM
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My first trip to the Caribbean was to St. Lucia and I've been smitten with the entire region since that trip. It's definitely an island that can deeply immerse you in West Indian culture if you move beyond the resorts--you just have to decide what your comfort level with that might be.

I personally wouldn't want to visit St. Lucia and stay in the northern part of the island simply because I love the beauty of the Pitons in the south part of the island. If you want a resort atmosphere, there are a few that offer views of the Pitons, but they're definitely on the pricey side. I don't know much about the Almond resorts, but I suspect that Anse Chastenet, Jalousie, and Ladera are all more expensive. The villa resort of Stonefield might be in your price range, though. If you do a search for Stonefield on this forum you'll eventually find a wonderful trip report from a poster named kellybeaches who stayed at Stonefield and included a lot of photos in her report. Very informative.


ejcrowe is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2008, 07:59 PM
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After discussing with my husband further, he is not as adventurous as I, we have decided to go to Riveria Maya in Mexico. This was a spur of the moment decision of mine to even go on vacation, and I would still love to go to St. Lucia. I don't think my husband is ready for that yet. I will start saving for next year! Thanks for the input!
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Old Jun 27th, 2008, 10:32 AM
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nooooooo....the caribbean is way better than mexico. too bad.
cruzan19 is offline  
Old Jun 27th, 2008, 05:16 PM
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We will be on the caribbean side about 60 miles south of Cancun. I hope I like it. I am so undecisive. I was just looking up resorts in St. Croix and St. John. I know someone I trust that is a travel agent and she has been working so hard because I keep changing my mind. I would hate to do it to her again. I am not finding all inclusives in that area so think Mexico will be more economical for us at this time.
jenibel is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2008, 03:58 AM
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Jenibel: We've stayed in Riviera Maya, Cozumel and Cancun on a couple of different trips. We loved our trip to Riviera Maya. We did not like Cancun. Since you don't want to stay on the beach all week, you can check out the Tulum and Coba ruins. I'm sure you'll have a great time. St. Lucia is beautiful though. You must go one day.
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Old Jul 9th, 2008, 12:47 PM
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We just returned in May from Tulum, 2 hours south of Cancun Airport. It is BEAUTIFUL. We also spent 2 nights in Playa del Carmen which was fun. The water in Tulum is lovely Caribbean water. There are cenotes to snorkel [beautiful freshwater underground river systems], ruins, jungles, it's all there. The food and service are excellent.

Here's my trip report:
http://www.tulum.info/showthread.php?t=2245

great active boards:

www.tulum.info
www.playa.info
www.locogringo.com

I have been to other islands and this trip was right up there with the best. And very affordable.

Trish


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Old Jul 9th, 2008, 02:26 PM
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wanted to add all-inclusives are usually more expensive and limiting. We did stay at Secets Capri and enjoyed it. It was our only AI so far. I much prefer to find the hidden gems, etc. and save money.

Trish
TnTWalter is offline  
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